China had another record year of softwood log imports in 2018, as more than 16.96 billion BF (40 million m3) of logs landed at Chinese ports, according to a report from Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). This was the third consecutive year of year-over-year increases, with 2018 volumes being up 37% from 2015. One trend the report noted is that during the past five years, import volumes have declined from the key supplying regions of Russia and Canada, while they have increased from New Zealand and Australia.
The largest softwood log importing countries to China in 2018 were New Zealand (43% share), Russia (19%), followed by the U.S. (12%), Australia (10%), Canada (6%) and Uruguay (5%). The report noted that Russia’s log import market share in China has been cut in half the past three years, while Japan has tripled its log exports to China.